Question Speaker Matching Room Advice

losalnos

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Mar 31, 2016
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Hi all, hope you've all had a nice festive time. I've got a speakers/room acoustics question:

I have a turntable going in to a Rega Brio, which is in turn going in to a set of Monitor Audio BX5 floorstanders. In the main I really like it all, but there's a couple of wee issues:

- It's set up in a fairly big room (around 20ft x 15ft and enormously high ceilings at around 12-13ft high)
- It's a flat so I'm conscious about the volume being too loud. I want to be considerate to the other flats, especially below us.

Trying to look past the speaker model for the moment, I wondered if anyone had an opinion as to whether floor standers were the way to go? I figured (being a novice at this) big room = big speakers, but I've found to really get the speakers to sing, I have to drive them at a volume that's a little high for my comfort, in the sense of being considerate to those next door. I was wondering if I'd actually be better with stand mount speakers? But maybe they'd not fill the room? Or maybe speaker style/size makes no difference? Maybe these particular models of Monitor Audios don't particularly perform well at low volume, or maybe it's down to the incredible dark art that I don't really understand: impedance! Or maybe, it's just something I have to live with - big room needs volume.

It's difficult for me to audition in the house, and no showroom test rooms remotely resemble the large acoustic space I'm dealing with, so any advice from wiser folk than me would be much appreciated.

Take care folks. Thanks for having me in the group.
 
Well, we can rule impedance straight away, as that’s irrelevant here!

No speakers can sound the same (as good) at lower volumes, but that’s because our ears are less sensitive to high and low sounds as the volume reduces. You’ve noticed some amplifiers have a ‘loudness’ button or knob for that reason - they artificially boosts bass, and to a lesser extent, treble to give us some of the balance a louder volume creates.

With ceilings that high, I’m guessing you’re in a loft apartment, or a converted big old house, yes? Have you any pictures you can post?

Smaller wall mounted speakers, or stand mounts, may transmit less sound downstairs through the floor. Or are you already ground floor?

Have you ever asked neighbours if they can hear your music? You might be surprised how well insulated it is. All very location dependent!
 

Jasonovich

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Jul 28, 2022
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Hi all, hope you've all had a nice festive time. I've got a speakers/room acoustics question:

I have a turntable going in to a Rega Brio, which is in turn going in to a set of Monitor Audio BX5 floorstanders. In the main I really like it all, but there's a couple of wee issues:

- It's set up in a fairly big room (around 20ft x 15ft and enormously high ceilings at around 12-13ft high)
- It's a flat so I'm conscious about the volume being too loud. I want to be considerate to the other flats, especially below us.

Trying to look past the speaker model for the moment, I wondered if anyone had an opinion as to whether floor standers were the way to go? I figured (being a novice at this) big room = big speakers, but I've found to really get the speakers to sing, I have to drive them at a volume that's a little high for my comfort, in the sense of being considerate to those next door. I was wondering if I'd actually be better with stand mount speakers? But maybe they'd not fill the room? Or maybe speaker style/size makes no difference? Maybe these particular models of Monitor Audios don't particularly perform well at low volume, or maybe it's down to the incredible dark art that I don't really understand: impedance! Or maybe, it's just something I have to live with - big room needs volume.

It's difficult for me to audition in the house, and no showroom test rooms remotely resemble the large acoustic space I'm dealing with, so any advice from wiser folk than me would be much appreciated.

Take care folks. Thanks for having me in the group.
I live in a detached house but I'm still worried about the neighbours hearing the music out on the street!
Energy saving schemes like insulating your walls and flooring, will not only save you on your utility costs but also reduce the noise from escaping out of your flat. I am being presumptuous but if you haven't done it already, it's worth exploring. I believe there are government grants to assist you with the costs.
 
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Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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Hi all, hope you've all had a nice festive time. I've got a speakers/room acoustics question:

I have a turntable going in to a Rega Brio, which is in turn going in to a set of Monitor Audio BX5 floorstanders. In the main I really like it all, but there's a couple of wee issues:

- It's set up in a fairly big room (around 20ft x 15ft and enormously high ceilings at around 12-13ft high)
- It's a flat so I'm conscious about the volume being too loud. I want to be considerate to the other flats, especially below us.

Trying to look past the speaker model for the moment, I wondered if anyone had an opinion as to whether floor standers were the way to go? I figured (being a novice at this) big room = big speakers, but I've found to really get the speakers to sing, I have to drive them at a volume that's a little high for my comfort, in the sense of being considerate to those next door. I was wondering if I'd actually be better with stand mount speakers? But maybe they'd not fill the room? Or maybe speaker style/size makes no difference? Maybe these particular models of Monitor Audios don't particularly perform well at low volume, or maybe it's down to the incredible dark art that I don't really understand: impedance! Or maybe, it's just something I have to live with - big room needs volume.

It's difficult for me to audition in the house, and no showroom test rooms remotely resemble the large acoustic space I'm dealing with, so any advice from wiser folk than me would be much appreciated.

Take care folks. Thanks for having me in the group.
I have a very similar apartment to you, loft style, open plan with high ceilings. You do have to be careful about sound levels to keep the neighbours happy. I'm lucky that my current neighbours are lovely tolerant people but late at night I use headphones.

I have KEF R700 speakers which are I suppose quite big floorstanders. They fill the room nicely at normal listening levels but will rattle the windows and walls if turned up high. (I mainly listen to classical music which is more about dynamic range than sheer volume.) I've not heard the MAs so I don't know how they compare.
 
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Gray

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No speakers can sound the same (as good) at lower volumes, but that’s because our ears are less sensitive to high and low sounds as the volume reduces.
I've always thought there should be a 'read this first' page for the above type of undeniably true statement - so that any newbies are left in no doubt.

I've seen statements where people imply that their speakers sound just as good at lower volumes.
Impossible. (Especially for anyone playing favourite tracks).
 

Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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I've always thought there should be a 'read this first' page for the above type of undeniably true statement - so that any newbies are left in no doubt.

I've seen statements where people imply that their speakers sound just as good at lower volumes.
Impossible. (Especially for anyone playing favourite tracks).
I've always found louder better the same as faster more fun, that always seems to come with a head shake but it doesn't mean I disturb my neighbour nor drive like a loon it just means I pick my moments to do such things in keeping with not disturbing others.
Louder music is what drove my love for hifi in the first place.
 
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mightyquin

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Jan 7, 2014
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I lived in a flat with people below and above me. I 'upgraded' my speakers to a pair of floorstanders and a few days later the upstairs neighbour mentioned that she could hear my music and would I mind playing it a little quieter - I wasn't (in my mind) playing them any louder that I had my prevoius stand mounts but clearly the acoustics were causing more noise transmission.

I reverted back to the stand mounts and there was no more issue.

Obviously there are very many variables to affect each situation but you have said you need to drive these speakers louder than you find comfortable yourself, so therein lies your answer IMHO.
 

twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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I've always thought there should be a 'read this first' page for the above type of undeniably true statement - so that any newbies are left in no doubt.

I've seen statements where people imply that their speakers sound just as good at lower volumes.
Impossible. (Especially for anyone playing favourite tracks).

I don't see how it's impossible?
 

Gray

Well-known member
I don't see how it's impossible?
Well, as you know, it's why the 'loudness' function was thought to be necessary (not that I've ever used it).

If somebody is playing music (that they like) and it doesn't sound better at higher rather than lower levels - then their ear / brains are working in a way that's contrary to the majority of others.

I'm not talking about stupidly loud volumes - but certainly levels that preclude simultaneous conversation in the same room.

Surely, you agree that the majority of what makes music enjoyable on a decent hi-fi, improves with volume.
Therefore it's impossible to sound as good at lower levels 👍
 

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